Thursday, 25 November 2010

Gimme Some Mo!

The Cavaliers snapped a three game losing streak last night by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 83-81 in Cleveland, thanks to Mo Williams' game winning shot. Mo's 15 foot buzzer-beating jumper won the game as the clock ran out, and gave the Cavs a much needed win. The Wine and Gold had previously lost five of the last six games before last night's victory, so this win was vital and can hopefully resurrect the season. I liked this quote by Mary Schmitt Boyer: 'The Cavs haven't given their fans much to cheer about since the opening night victory over Boston. Now, perhaps they have a little Mo-mentum.' Comic gold Mary.

Unfortunately I didn't watch the game, as I have yet to pony up the cash to get an NBA League Pass subscription. Christmas isn't far away now, so I'll be buying it within the month. However, I still feel obliged to comment on the game, because there is nothing sweeter in basketball than a last second game winner. Mo finished the game with 25 points, the majority of those coming in the second half. It's good to see Williams finding his groove again, and I hope last night's performance will give him the confidence to keep excelling on the court. In a transition season like this, the Cavs are going to need leaders and Mo can become an important one. In the wake of Lebron leaving, this team is Mo's for the taking and I hope he can stay in Cleveland for many years and become the core of this Cavaliers squad. Take note Byron Scott...

Anyway, I'll leave it at that as like I said I didn't get to see the game live and so don't have a great deal to write about. One more thing though. Antawn Jamison... I don't want to see your shot get blocked so easily ever again, because what Larry Sanders did to you was plain nasty. I'll leave you with the video of Mo's brilliant game winner. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse. Arsenal slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Braga in Portugal last night, making life just a bit more difficult in the Champions League. A poor loss to a team we should really beat, and more injuries added to our already crippled squad. What at first appeared to be a group we would walk out of with ease, has now come down to a nail-biting match against Belgrade in two weeks time. I still expect us to beat a team like Partizan, especially at home, but it should never really have been this close. The latest news on the injury front is that Eboue has damaged the ligaments in his knee, and Fabregas has got more hamstring problems that will sideline him for a few weeks. Brilliant...

Wenger took a gamble with Cesc last night and obviously it didn't pay off. It's the last thing we need at this time, to lose our captain and star of the team, but that's just the way it goes for Arsenal these days. More walking wounded every season. The Gunners face Aston Villa this weekend, a massive game now in light of recent results. A loss against Villa will be devastating to our title ambitions, so a win is a must right now, but it won't be easy. Some good news is that Aaron Ramsey has stepped up his rehab on the road to recovery, completing 45 minutes unscathed against Wolves reserves yesterday. Finally, something positive! It's still way too early to expect him back in the first team, but hopefully he can return to the squad after Christmas. I've certainly missed Rambo, and with Cesc struggling for fitness all season it would be a welcome relief to have the Welsh Wonder back in action. Fingers crossed anyway.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Time To Bounce Back

Arsenal are in Portugal tonight for their Champions League clash against Braga. The Gunners need just a draw to ensure qualification into the knock-out rounds, but Arsene Wenger's men will undoubtedly be looking for a comprehensive win to bounce back from the crushing defeat at the weekend against Spurs. We'll be looking to take all three points this evening to ensure we finish top of the group - it could be very important later on in the competition.

The less said about the North London derby the better. I didn't watch it, instead I had to suffer through it by checking the BBC Football site whilst I was at work. You can imagine the joy I felt when I saw we were 2-0 up, thanks to Nasri and Chamakh. "Excellent!" I thought. So I checked later on to see it was 2-2, and I knew right then and there that the hurt wasn't over yet. Reluctantly I checked the web again, and to my dismay I saw the final score, 3-2 to Spurs. "Urrrrrrrrrrrgh" was what I came out with, or some rude curse word. It just pisses me off that we, A) Keep dropping points at home, B) We didn't capitalise on Chelsea losing AGAIN, and C) We gave away a two goal lead to the old enemy and lost. No doubt you can expect another classless DVD release from the marketing department in Tottenham very soon.

When you lose in such a fashion as Arsenal did, it is crucial to bounce back with a display that the team and the fans will be proud of, to show us all that the world is not in fact crumbling around us as we speak (maybe a bit dramatic...). Travelling away in the Champions League is never an easy task, as the previous clash against Shakthar demonstrated. I expect Braga to present us with a similar challenge, and I don't imagine the Gunners will cruise to a dominant win like we did when we last faced the Portuguese side. Especially as it appears Arsene will be resting some of our key players tonight.

From my understanding, Arshavin, van Persie and Clichy have not travelled for tonight's game, due to injuries and Wenger wanting to rotate the squad a bit. Clichy has a back problem, but its not such a problem when the young Gibbs can just slot right in. I can understand van Persie being rested, as we all know his track record with injuries - it's probably a smart move to save him for a more important game. I'm still a little disappointed not see Robin on the bench though; he's always been one of my favourite players on the team, so I always like to see him get some minutes. Hopefully it won't be long until he's 100% fit and back in the starting lineup. Arshavin's exclusion from the squad is not a big surprise, as we have adequate cover for him and it won't hurt him to get some rest for a few days.

Apparently Cesc may also be on the bench as a precaution, but he is still in line for a potential start. Again, it makes sense for Wenger not to risk our captain in a game where we realistically only need a point. Given Fabregas's recent troubles with his hamstring, it's a wise decision. Wilshere, Nasri or Rosicky can fill in for Cesc when needed and I expect that will happen tonight. So that's the people who are missing, but who is actually going to play? Well, I'm not Arsene Wenger so I don't know, but I can use the power of prediction and venture a guess or two. I'd like to see Bendtner get a full 90 minutes, and Theo to get a run-out too. In light of Bendtner requesting more playing time in the press recently, it only makes sense to hand him a place in the starting eleven and see if he can back up his words with goals. Don't be surprised to see Bendtner lineup alongside Chamakh this evening, or replace the Moroccan altogether. In midfield, Wilshere, Denilson and Song would be more than acceptable for this type of game, but Nasri could slot back into midfield if Wenger wants a bit more creativity in the middle of the park.

I'd really like to be in the pub tonight to watch the game, but I'm still unsure if I will. Other commitments and the like, you know how it is. All I want to see, hear, and know is that Arsenal play to their best and just get the job done. No more mental lapses, no more gifting teams easy goals. Just win. Check out Arseblog's match preview for a more in-depth look ahead of tonight's clash; he doesn't bullshit anyone.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Back To The Future

So I finally cracked and shelled out the £30 or so for an Arsenal retro shirt. I opted for the long sleeve version, to make it that extra bit "vintage". I've been wanting one for ages but could never muster up enough spare cash to buy one. However, a friend of mine is having a 60's themed party this weekend so I thought, "is there anything better than going as an Arsenal footballer from the 1960's?!" An ingenious idea from me if I don't say so...

I pounced on the purchase thanks to Kitbag having a "10% off everything offer" on their site for the last few days. Looks like I bought it at just the right time, as it appears they've stopped this deal and all items are back to full price. Just in the knick of time. I'm pretty chuffed with the shirt, it arrived yesterday in record time (I didn't even pay for speedy delivery either). It's an official Score Draw retro shirt, licensed by the club as well, and it does look a bit nice I'll admit. The shirt came in a fancy Score Draw box which was a nice touch too.

If you are wondering why I'm resorting to posting about the new stuff I've bought, it's simply because I have watched bugger all sport recently. I've either been working, or been away, or just flat out missed live sport for the last week or so. So until I watch a game, be it NFL, NBA or the Arsenal, I will then write something worth writing about. Because trying to write about highlights I've seen is a bit useless.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Does It Get Any Better?

The Cleveland Browns shocked the world yesterday, upsetting the New England Patriots in a 34-14 classic. The Browns flat outplayed the Patriots all afternoon, and it was right up there as one of the most entertaining games I've witnessed in my four years as a Browns fan. A day I'll never forget and thanks to my good friend Will, I got to watch it all, live and in glorious high-definition.

After the Brown's win two weeks ago in New Orleans there has been a rise in optimism amongst Browns fans, that things might finally be going in the right direction. After beating the Patriots in such a convincing fashion yesterday, the idea that Mangini's Cleveland squad have finally turned a corner is becoming a reality. The Browns were dominant from start to finish, something I never believed I would type. I was cautiously optimistic before the game, not sure if we could repeat the upset we saw in New Orleans, but I never expected the performance my beautiful Browns provided.

I won't bore you with a play-by-play recap of the game, you can read that on any other site or blog. Instead, I'll share my opinion on the stars of the game; The good feelings are overwhelming, so much so I can't find a way to criticise any member of the Browns squad of players, coaches, or the organisation in general. Here we go then:

Colt McCoy. Oh Colt, how I and the majority of fellow Browns fans are taking you to our hearts dearly. Mr McCoy had some game yesterday. He never put a foot (or pass) wrong, and was so composed throughout the entire battle. His pocket presence was fantastic, always aware of the oncoming Patriot blitzes, and Colt constantly scrambled to safety on multiple occasions. It's so nice to have such a mobile quarterback on our team; I mean he's no Michael Vick, but Colt can tuck the ball and run when he needs to, as he demonstrated perfectly late on in yesterday's contest. Late in the third quarter McCoy took off on a scintillating 16 yard run through the New England defense, before diving into the end-zone for the touchdown, which effectively iced the game putting the Browns up 24-7. McCoy was as good with his arm as he was with his feet. Colt was tremendously accurate with his passing throughout the game, completing nearly 75% of his pass attempts, as well as being clutch on 3rd down situations. Credit must go to our receivers who caught everything thrown their way, as well as our brilliant 0-line for giving Colt the necessary time to perform - everybody seemed to have a great game on the offense. Colt is making it extremely hard for Mangini to even consider dropping him in favour of Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, and this can only be a good thing for the team and fans. Fred Greetham at OBR believes our rookie QB should be handed the starting job for the rest of 2010 and I can see no reason to argue with that. Keep it up Colt!

Peyton Hillis. If you didn't know about Mr Hillis already (shame on you if you didn't!) you certainly do now, after another terrific performance from the bruising running back. He had probably the best game of his early Browns career, as he exploded for 184 yards rushing and 36 yards receiving with 2 touchdowns. The athletic big man was a human battering ram against the Patriot's defense as he never seemed to stop going forward. Even when he made contact with New England linebackers, he took the hit and kept his legs going to gain more yardage. Hillis has certainly been the revelation of the 2010 Cleveland Browns, and the best thing about him is he keeps getting better and stronger every week. The Broncos must be hitting themselves for letting him go...

The Browns Defense. I don't know if I've ever witnessed such a strong performance from this Browns defensive unit. Tom Brady was visibly frustrated yesterday after he and his offense continued to beat their heads against Cleveland's brick wall of a defense. It's not often Brady is kept in check with such ease, as the Patriots failed to maintain any sort of momentum on their way to scoring only 14 points (when it was predicted they'd score so much more). The Browns players routinely forced Brady and co. to make critical mistakes, which were crucial to Cleveland's victory (the forced fumble and recovery by Elam just before half time was particularly important). A brilliant game from Rob Ryan and his men, as they look to gain strength from this game and continue to improve as the season goes on.

It doesn't get any easier for the Browns, as they face the New York Jets next weekend in a hotly anticipated contest. After victories against the Saints and Patriots, the Browns should go into next week's matchup fearing no-one. Bring on the Jets!

Thanks for reading.